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Catholic school in Michigan argues mask mandates hide 'God's image,' violate religious liberty

A Michigan Catholic school is attempting to get in front of the mask mandate issue by arguing on religious liberty grounds in court

Published: July 22, 2021 8:51am

Updated: July 22, 2021 11:14am

A court of appeals in Michigan will hear a case from a Catholic school arguing mask mandates violate religious liberty because they cover "God's image and likeness."

"Unfortunately, a mask shields our humanity and because God created us in His image, we are masking that image," the institution – the Resurrection School, in Lansing – told The Washington Post. 

The suit additionally argues masks make students less social, less comfortable, and in some cases makes breathing more difficult.

"A mask is disruptive to this essential element of Catholic faith, and it is disruptive to the teaching of young children for these and other reasons," the school to The Post. D

During a separate press interview, a school official said donning a mask "conveys the message that the wearer has surrendered his or her freedom to the government."

The school's pastor, the Rev. Steve Mattson, told WILX-TV in Lansing that there were no cases of in-school transmission at Resurrection last year, despite children in grade five and below never wearing masks.

There is not currently a mask mandate in schools, but Mattson says it is an issue Resurrection wants to "get in front of," given that a mandate could potentially "be reinstated at any time."

A health officer with Ingham County said that the appeal should be thrown out because, at this point, the county does not plan on issuing any more mandates.

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